Entries in the 'World' Category

Towards Spirituality Through This World

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “BeShalach (When Pharaoh Sent),” Item 470: …as it is written, “For I will surely blot out the memory of Amalek. “Blot out is above,” “I will blot out,” below. “Memory” means the memory above and below.

“Above” and “below” do not speak of our world since it is not subject to correction; there is nothing to correct in it. This whole world that we live in while staying in our bodies (just like other people) before the point in the heart awakens in us and we find a group through which we connect with spirituality has nothing to do with correction and/or with spirituality.

We are talking about desire that originates from the point in the heart and later on is incorporated in the group (meaning into the assembly of other points in the heart that we have to reconnect together). The Zohar speaks only about this process. The rest of reality that we observe around us bears no relation to correction or spirituality.

We see a huge material world around us, but it doesn’t exist in spirituality. It is given to us only to serve as a basis from which we start our spiritual lives. Relative to the spiritual world, our world doesn’t exist. It is an imaginary reality from which we can enter spirituality independently, by ourselves.

The Creator gives us a point in the heart that allows us to advance. If we put our inner state through a filter that really separates the spiritual (authentic) world from the “unreal” one, only points in the heart would pass through this filter. The rest of this realm would be stopped by the filter and vanish since it simply doesn’t exist.

In other words, our imaginary reality has only one purpose: to allow the points in our hearts to enter spirituality. We have to continue living in this reality until we manage to connect all the points in the hearts into one spiritual realm and thus reach complete correction (Gmar Tikkun). Afterwards, this imaginary picture will disappear.

Until then, our world won’t vanish. In each action of correction (from the first to the last) we have to stay within the “unreal” image of our material world because that’s where we start a new round of correction each time.

It is written about Rabbi Shimon (the author of The Book of Zohar) that before his last correction he identified himself as “Shimon from the market,” meaning that he fell into this world and sensed only this dimension of life. From this world he managed to attain the highest level of correction.

This is the reason why the imaginary reality that we call “our world” is so important: It provides us with a sense of separation from spirituality. Because we sense separation, we independently manage to correct each portion of our uncorrected desires. We do it while staying in this world, which is totally absent from the spiritual realm, “from absence.”

This is why this world is so important. Everyone has to lead a normal life: have a good job and family, study, and comply with whatever this world requires of us. Without this world we will not become similar to the spiritual world; we will not correct ourselves or enter spirituality.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/10, The Zohar

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The Fear Of God Is His Treasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Shamati #38, “The Fear of God Is His Treasure”: In His treasury, the Creator has only the treasure of fear of God.

There are four levels of development:

1. This material world where we all exist;

2. The level (degree) of “preparation,” people who have the point in the heart and raise its importance above this world, above egoism, exist at this level;

3. Repentance (correction) from fear, the level of Bina, Hafetz Hesed at which a person turns into a righteous man. At this stage all 613 desires of the soul are being corrected to “bestow in order to bestow.”

4. Repentance (correction) from love, a degree of the complete righteous, a level at which all 613 desires are corrected into “receive in order to bestow,” similarity to the Creator.

The degree of fear is extremely important; it is a stepping stone on the way to becoming similar to the Creator. The Light gradually, little by little, increases egoistic desires in a person who rises above them and chooses to associate himself with the point in the heart. Later on, at the level of love, he starts using his desires “to receive in order to bestow.”

The Fear of God is His Treasure-1Thus, the degree of fear represents a vessel through which a person reveals the Creator (the Light of Infinity) when he reaches the next level, that of love. Developmental stages change each other at the pace of their own, and fear is the only thing that we have to worry about constantly since fear is diligent work on the screen and Reflected Light to keep us above our desires at all times.

Of course, all the work is done by the Light, but we have to ask for it ourselves. The group’s task is to carry out the goal and elevate its significance by maintaining unity and connection within which a general vessel emerges: the intention for the sake of bestowal, rising above one’s egoism.

The Fear of God is His Treasure-2
This is how we help each other, unite our points in the hearts, and shape from them the vessel into which we receive the treasure. When our unity will manifest itself, the Light will immediately reveal itself in it too.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/1/10, Shamati #38

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Where Is My Soul?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the material world, everyone has a body with its fulfillments. We are separated from each other by biological bodies, and psychologically, each of us perceives themselves as an individual personality.

In spirituality, everything is constantly changing by going from one state to another; the Light and the vessel are always different. We “clothe” in a certain state and name ourselves in accordance with it as actors who change costumes for new roles. It is as if we are in a science fiction movie where we play a variety of characters.

There is no such notion as a “private, permanent soul” that exists autonomously, climbs the ladder, and preserves its individuality. It’s hard for us to understand how our "self" disappears. For example, it is said in the article “600,000 Souls” that each person who corrects his soul will uncover Malchut to the world and will be named King David.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/26/10, "600,000 Souls"

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To Live And Just Be Happy

Dr. Michael LaitmanEverything seems so stable to us in this world, like a habitual cradle for a little child. However, we need to come out of it and check if it’s really so reliable.

Most importantly, we need to come out of the influence of society. If a person comes out into the so-called “temporary dwelling,” that is, he builds a new environment for himself in order to become independent and see this world from afar, like from space, then he draws even closer to the Light. It’s important to reveal the world “on the other side” (on the other side of egoism) without changing anything in “this life,” to rationally evaluate our world as temporary, and add the permanent one to it by uniting with the Creator.

This world is given to us only so that we could value the Creator’s world as the perfect one. In order to rejoice in this world and in the next one, we need to assimilate the Upper World while being in our current state. This is achieved by altering the importance of reception to bestowal, changing waste into essence, and the permanent into the temporary. We need to switch them around and discover harmony and perfection.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/10, Writhings of Baal HaSulam, Letter 17

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The Worlds Between Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanSometimes the language of The Zohar appears to be very odd, but in fact the story behind it is extremely simple. There is my “neighbor” and “myself.” There is a distance between us that is divided into five parts. The most remote part is felt as “this world.” If I connect with my neighbor completely and attain total unity with him, I will sense the “World of Infinity.”

My drawing closer to my neighbor occurs in five steps: I ascend into the worlds of Assiya, then Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, and Adam Kadmon. Five worlds with 25 steps in each make up 125 steps of us drawing closer together. Before starting this process, while I am still in this world, I have to fully realize that I am separated from my neighbor (the realization of evil).

The Worlds Between Us
I perceive myself and the world around me in the connection between me and my "neighbor." The Zohar speaks exclusively about what is happening between us: The still, vegetative, animate, and speaking levels of nature described in The Zohar, in fact, represent my desires of the still vegetative, animate, and speaking levels in relation to my neighbor (other souls).

The entire Torah speaks only about the ways of building the connection between me and my “neighbor.” It is what is called the “method of correction.”

The Torah is the Light concealed in the text, and I can derive it to the measure that I desire to unite with the other. The moment I connect with the other, I reveal the Upper World within this connection and exist in spirituality to the extent of this connection.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/10, The Zohar

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Find Yourself In The Upper Dimension

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe wisdom of Kabbalah speaks about my ascent to an Upper dimension. What does “ascent” mean? The Kabbalists say: “You exist in an Upper dimension but do not feel it. You have to reveal yourself existing in it.”

I exist in two dimensions. One is at the level of “this world,” where I reside in my physical body. The other is in an Upper dimension, where I exist in my spiritual body. This spiritual body, a desire to bestow, is concealed from me, and I know nothing about it. Opposite to it, there is the Upper Force called “the Creator.”

Opposite to my corporeal body, there is Nature. In the reality of “this world” I feel bad, which pushes me to uncover the Upper reality, my existence as “the Soul and the Creator” instead of “the Body and Nature.”

Kabbalists say that I have to discover the Upper dimension because that is where the governing forces reach me, and I along with my entire future depend on them. If I ascend, then I find out why I exist, who I am, and what happens to me. I reveal the meaning of my life and how to change everything for the better. These questions push me toward the Upper dimension.

When I start reading The Zohar, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, and the articles of Baal HaSulam and Rabash, I discover that they are talking about this Upper dimension. Conversely, if a person thinks that they are speaking of our world, then this view of the Kabbalistic texts is incorrect. This means that the reader makes an idol of the entire Torah by engaging in idolatry, and then it is forbidden for him to open these books. The reason being, instead of learning about the qualities of the Creator (loving  the other as you love yourself), such a person becomes an even greater egoist by thinking that the Torah teaches him how to perform rituals.

All “holy” books speak about the quality of sanctity (bestowal) and the Upper World (the acts of bestowal), whereas all ordinary books speak about the quality of reception and this world. Therefore, when I open a holy book, I yearn to enter the state of the author. He explains to me how to reach bestowal, never speaking of this world. After all, looking from above, this world is an illusion, “Olam HaMedume” (the imaginary world).

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/7/10, The Zohar

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A World Of Desires

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar tells us about the “next world” and “this world,” but do not think that it is talking about our material world. The Zohar does not say even one word about the physical bodies and what we feel in this world. Everything that happens to us is not taken into account at all in the spiritual.

Everything that happens in the desire to receive for one’s own sake on the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature is not described in Kabbalah because it is not subject to correction. Only the relationships between people need to be corrected to unification with each other and with the Creator. When The Zohar refers to “this world” or seemingly physical actions and people, it is referring to different types of desires in a person.

Kabbalah engages only in correction of desires. The Creator created a desire, and He wishes to bring it into equivalence with Him. Meanwhile, our physical body is merely our perception of this desire’s existence.

The whole still, vegetative, and animate nature of this world is the most external form of the same desire, which is not subject to correction. In our world there is nothing to correct! The greatest Kabbalist and the most common citizen are made of the same flesh. We can perform organ transplants from one to the other. There is nothing sacred or faulty in these bodies; both of them will die.

Everything starts from the spiritual desire where there is impurity, an intention for one’s own sake against the Creator, and sanctity, a desire for bestowal for the Creator’s sake. However, we are only talking about the desire, not the material body.

It is like placing a special filter in front of me, which holds back the matter of this world and leaves only spiritual matter, the desire for bestowal, in the open. We study the science of Kabbalah, meaning study about those desires that must be brought to equivalence with the Creator, and the other desires will vanish.

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Light Through The Cracks In The Wall

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Upper One exposes to us its lower part, Malchut, as a black void, promising nothing good. The “Upper World” (the spiritual world) is presented to us so unattractive on purpose. Meanwhile, in “this world” that we feel in the Keter of the lower one, we find at least some pleasure.

I exist in such state that even this world doesn’t attract me, and the state of the Upper One seems to be even worse. Actually, I am not even filled in my egoistic, receiving desires, but the Upper One loads some more on me by suggesting: “You wanted to be in bestowal!” I don’t have anything, and yet the Upper One is telling me: “Come on, share what you have with the others!”

Hence, I can accept what the Upper One suggests solely without thinking, without any conditions, and not through my own efforts. I can do it only by the force of the Light, without making any plans and having hopes to fill my egoism and receive some benefit in “this world.”

Most important for a person is to reach the state of bestowal. And then, he will have everything, but only after he rejects it! He will receive fulfillment (satisfaction), yet not through reception, but through bestowal.

This is how we should view the month of Elul before the beginning of the New Year, the start of one’s spiritual journey. ELUL, as an acronym, means “I am for my Beloved, and my Beloved is for me.” The Upper One hands down these hopeless conditions to me so that with their help I may break free from my egoistic state. In fact, if He promised me something good, I would never be able to tear away from my egoism, as I am chained to it by pleasure.

It is written: “The Creator places man’s hand on a good fate” by submerging his life into darkness and void but, on the other hand, reveals to man a tiny beam of Light to show the way out of the dark. This beam of Light is not an egoistic, material gain. The Creator provides me with the help on my spiritual path: He brings me to a Kabbalistic group, where I can exercise my free will and choose the correct environment.

The Light “illuminates” a bit, meaning that it gives me a sensation that bestowal in particular is the Light. It makes me feel that the Light is ascent above my egoism when it doesn’t matter whether it’s filled or empty since what counts is Whom I’m connected with.

The Creator lets me know the following: You suffer in the corporeal state, so don’t seek material fulfillment. Rather, being in this state, look upward: Think about what other life may exist, in other values, in bestowal, in another dimension (of happiness).

This means that a beam of Light is shining onto me through the cracks in the wall that separates me from the Upper World, the world of peace (rest from my egoism and worry about filling it) and perfection (aspiration to bestowal and love).

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/6/10, Shamati #42

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Raising The Whole World

The purpose of everything that we feel in our reality, be it positive or negative, is to form us along the spiritual ladder. There is nothing that would be created for any other purpose or that existed by itself. Everything in this world – thousands of surrounding objects, actions, or forces – exists for a single purpose: my spiritual development. I incorporate, consciously or not, all that surrounds me into myself and hence ascend.

Indeed, if everything came from the World of Infinity down to the level of our world where it seemingly exists without being connected into a single whole, then how could objects and actions of our world not be bonded by a single purpose from which they descended down to us? How can there be anything in our world that has not come to it from the World of Infinity? And if it did descend from the World of Infinity, it means that it originated in unity that existed there and afterward, by descending down, took the form of the breaking, distancing, and isolation.

Hence, by climbing the spiritual ladder a person has to raise the entire reality, all of “This World,” along with himself. It is said that by ascending spiritually, a person elevates (corrects) the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature along with himself.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/6/10, “And Jacob Went Out”

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The Collective Life Of Light And Desire

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll of us are included as parts of a general system into the only state that there is: the World of Infinity. It exists as one body, similar to a live organism that consists of various internal sub-systems which transfer blood, lymph, or nervous signals. We all are interconnected at the level of the World of Infinity as one eternal organism which functions as a perfect machine similar to the Light that fills it. The desire and the Light work together in harmony.

As in any healthy body, processes of expansion-contraction take place, such as breathing, pulse and heart beat. Even though the desire to receive pleasure and the Light are contrary to each other, their oppositeness creates dynamics called “life.” All these changes produce the sensation of life.

If just the Light or only the desire existed, nothing would be felt at all. Creation senses its existence because the Light and the desire act in conjunction with each other, meaning in harmony. Sometimes the Light expands and sometimes the desire overtakes. All along, one completes the other.

Sometimes the Light is larger because the desire intentionally diminishes itself and lets the Light act. Other times the Light allows the desire to function. One is higher, and then the other, like swings. This is how we allow each other to ascend, soaring upward! This dynamic gives birth to life.

It works like this in the World of Infinity. However, our state is intentionally spoiled in an artificial way so that we see the "advantage of the Light while in the state of darkness." This lets us sense our oppositeness to the Light and allows us to make our own effort to correct ourselves. Only under this condition are we able to appreciate the Light.

If you were born perfect, you’d live “automatically” and would never reveal perfection to its deepest extent. That’s the reason why the restrictions and concealments, distancing and the breaking, took place, up to a point of a complete detachment of the creature from the Creator. And this corruptness exists only in our inner perception and nowhere else.

I sense myself being in some body (it’s a pure illusion) within some (imaginary) world only because I am unconscious. I exist in the World of Infinity but my unconsciousness produces various delusions of imaginary pictures. These ravings are called “this world.” It’s the last, the lowest, and the worst step out of all possible states.

Therefore, it is obvious that we have to apply effort and regain consciousness (sensation of perfection). Only after we achieve it will we realize its depth to the fullest.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/13/10, Shamati #34

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